Preparing for the Future

Campus Lo-Res

As many of you already know, we are in the United States currently, preparing for the new phase of ministry that we feel God has led us into. Several things have come together, and we are super-excited about what God is going to do over the next few years in Port Moresby. We just can’t wait to get back to Papua New Guinea!

There are four specific elements of the vision, and I plan to expound on each of them separately over the next few days, but today I’m going to simply let you have a bird’s-eye view of the campus.

God has miraculously provided 15 acres in Port Moresby already, and we began building our house at the beginning of this year. When we return to PNG at the end of this year, we plan to complete the construction on the house. But we also plan to start into phase one of the church…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve enjoyed taking the time to talk through the vision with extremely talented Artist Jon Taylor who works with Answers in Genesis. When he presented us with this drawing, my heart soared; this is exactly what I believe God has called us to spend the rest of our life working on.

Thank you for being a part of the ministry in Papua New Guinea over the last several years. We look forward to many more years serving Christ and training others to further the Gospel.

To see a high-resolution PDF of the drawing, click here: SPCU Campus

Rise Up and Smite Thee

IMG_5792I’ve heard it said that, on average, the airplane will attempt to “rise up and smite” the pilot once every 1,000 hours. Oh joy–I passed the 1,000 hour benchmark last year.

Today, the airplane did her best to smite me, but she failed.

It was a routine flight, very normal for what I do with our plane–I was picking up two of our national pastors. They had just finished preaching an Easter Revival in a distant village and I was bringing them in for our Pastor’s Conference.

An 11-minute flight saves them almost 3 days of hiking. It’s a no-brainer.

I flew up to Menyamya, picked them up, and flew back to Kanabea. Upon landing, I thought to myself, “That was too easy. No long flights today; no bad weather to work around; just a simple out-and-back.”

That was when the plane saw her chance–I was relaxed. As we touched down, I felt a shudder in the left gear and initially, I thought we were hydro-planing (which is normal on a wet grass strip). But then I realized we were still getting the same shudder without my applying brakes. That’s when it started to pull to the left, very strongly!

I looked out the window as we slowed and I saw the tire doing this weird warble-y shape-shifting. A flat tire!

I applied opposite rudder and opposite brakes and we came to a quick stop.

Here is the cool part–I was already planning to do the 50-hour inspection on the plane today. We had a generator, air compressor, and my toolbox all at the airstrip. We pumped up the tire and limped it up to the top end of the airstrip and out […]

TeamWORK

In the last few months, we enjoyed the company of two different church groups. And both of them were awesome!

The first group came from our home church (Landmark Baptist Church in Louisville, KY) and was led by my pastor Matt Anders. Now, some missionaries might cringe when their home church sends their pastor to the field, but since the last time my home church sent their pastor, we kept him as a missionary, I figured we were putting up pretty good averages.
Pastor Matt did what every home church pastor needs to do–he came to observe and be a blessing. Most folks mean “Take you to McDonalds” when they say “be a blessing” but what he did was awesome for my family–he came and walked where we walked. He laughed with us, and he sat and played board games with my children. He displayed a pastor’s heart.

The second group came from Marlbrook Baptist Church in Raphine, Virginia, led by Pastor Larry Wright. Eleven men came for the express purpose of being a blessing to us in helping us build our new house in Port Moresby. These guys did everything–worked in the sun, worked in the rain, sweated their guts out, and they even mixed (lots of) concrete in wheelbarrows! They were here for eight days, and on Sunday I got to take them into one of the local villages after church. That turned out to be a highlight of the trip–and they got to be exposed to real-life missions in Papua New Guinea.

So whether you are 9 or 90, you should take a missions trip. Not a missions-vacation, but go help and see. You might just end up staying.

From a Camp to a Campus

Having completed Bible School classes in Kotidanga for the 2013 class, it is now time for us to focus on building in Port Moresby. The backhoe is almost finished clearing the land, and we are now at peace to move forward.

We had another clan claim ownership to the land that we have purchased for the new ministry; however God miraculously made hearts tender, and we settled that issue today. Tomorrow, we return to Kotidanga to spend our last Christmas with the Kamea people.

Lord willing, I will return to Port Moresby on Monday, December 30 to setup a “camp” on the land. This will be a shelter, where I will live along with several other local men as we begin to lay the foundation for our new house. Right now, there is nothing on the land–we don’t have electricity, water, or any structure…it’s a blank canvas! We will put up a “tarp house” and carry water from a well down the road to wash and drink. This is the ultimate in a Camping Out experience!

December through March is the hottest time of the year here in PNG, and Port Moresby is one of the hottest cities in the country. We will go through a lot of water, but the plan is to load many 5 gallon containers in the back of the truck and drive them to the campsite. There, we will use it carefully, and refill them as often as necessary. But eventually, we need to get a well dug on site.

Twelve men have airline tickets ready for mid-February from Marlbrook Baptist Church in Raphine, Virginia. I’d like to have the foundation in the ground, and the block walls up before they arrive. That […]

Is God a grouch?

Right now, I’m lying on the floor. It’s 7:15 pm, and almost everybody in the village has already scurried off to bed. Night falls fast in the jungle.

It’s hot. Sweat drips from my cheek down into my ear as I hold my phone to type. Crickets chirp, frogs croak, the rainforest is alive tonight–especially after today’s heavy rainfall.

Four other young men lie scattered around the room, each under a mosquito net. Two of them are Kamea Bible School students; two of them are American college students. There are rumbles of voices coming from under the mosquito nets–one of the Kamea men is audibly reading his Bible, while the American students discuss the finer points of “taking my yoke upon you.”

In my heart, I know that this is what God has called me to do–train servants of the Kingdom. I’ve watched these Kamea preachers mature in the Scriptures, and now I get to watch them in action reaching others.

So often, I am asked by young people, “How do I know whether God wants me to be a missionary?” or “Where does God want me to serve Him?”

Let me boil it down to this–God wants you to make the most you can of Him while you love Him in the midst of the job.

Some would say, “I could never put up with the heat.” Let me point out that people actually move to Florida for the heat! It’s all a matter of perspective.

He isn’t a grouch looking for a chance to doom you to a life of malaria. And He isn’t a pansy begging you to go.

He is an awesome God, worth talking about, and worth enjoying while we work.

This IS That.

r66-helicopter-project~s400x400Have you ever heard the expression “This is NOT that”? There are things in life that are not the same–day vs. night, Christianity vs. Islam, good vs. bad, yin vs. yang (whatever that is), airline coffee vs. Caramel Macchiato. I think you get the picture.

However, there are times in life when two things look different but actually work very well together. Think hot water and Starbucks Via!

Many times I’ve been referred to as a tribal missionary. I would prefer to be called a “missionary to tribal peoples,” but either way works. For the last ten years, we have been living in a remote area of Papua New Guinea, working among people that have only recently been introduced to mobile phones, and many of them are still wearing their first pair of trousers…a result of only having purchased them in the last few years; and having worn the same pair for the last few years.

With the recent news of our moving to Port Moresby to start the new ministry there, it has come to my attention that some people think we are no longer working with our beloved tribal people. O, friend, please do not be mistaken! It is actually the other way around.

For the last six years, I’ve been begging American Christians to look on the fields in the remote areas of the Gulf Province. But quite honestly, the population here grows faster than we can raise up/send missionaries into these areas. In the mean time, the “West” grows, expands, and infiltrates with its multitude of vices much faster than we could ever imagine.

The move to Moresby is a part of reaching our remote locations. […]

Fleshing-Out the Vision

In our last blog post, we announced that God is leading us to Port Moresby to start a new ministry that will partner with the existing churches in order to train men and women to go do what we have already been doing for the last ten years.

I’d like to give some more information as to what this new ministry will look like. Basically, it can be broken into four bite-size pieces: church, school, college, and camp.

    1. Capitol City Baptist Church I do believe strongly that Christ instituted the church and that He works through the local church. It would be counter-productive to do this work without doing it through a local church.Our target demographic is the foreign community. There is already a large community of Filipino, Pakistani, Indonesian, Australian, Chinese, Indian, American, Canadian and other nationalities living in Port Moresby. In addition to these, there is a rapidly growing community of foreign workers who are coming for the mining work. Estimates of 15,000 new foreign workers are being stated for the new mining project scheduled to be on track by the end of this year!In a nutshell, it is difficult for Papua New Guineans to be accepted across the cultural barrier. However, foreigners are instantly attracted to other foreigners. God has proven this repeatedly to Becky and me as we have met other foreigners in Moresby who have invited us into their homes and opened up in ways that rarely, if ever happen with the local pastors.Obviously, we want to reach Papua New Guineans–we have been doing that for ten years! But we want to help Papua New Guineans reach a part of their country that they are having difficulty doing by […]